Hotel Bellevue is a project about border trees. Border trees (or Grenzbaum) are planted on specific locations in the landscape to mark borders between properties and make them visible from afar. These trees were already located on historical maps and are subject to specific laws. They are a kind of guardian, but also a marker used by legal authorities to outline the area where they could wield their power, a tool to settle border conflicts. Because of a change in our landscape, and how we use land, these trees lost their status as a symbol and became a tree again. Centuries ago, border trees were a kind of signpost for people, they showed the direction to a castle, a farm or a church and were marked on maps. Currently there are 52 archived border trees in Flanders (Belgium).

When you think about border trees, you discuss territories, politics, crises, conflicts, botanical species, animals… These trees are not just wood. Natural worlds do not follow manmade islands. Look at fungi, they make up an enormous network that stretches beyond any kind of border, pollinators work wherever they find a flower from which to take pollen, birds migrate around the globe navigating it as a whole and not as a (flexible) puzzle of fragments. In a changing and unstable climate, the idea of border trees gives us the opportunity to reintroduce a local and community driven use of the landscape; they can help us learn from the stories and information imbued in these landmarks.

Hotel Bellevue is a manifesto for love, anger, desire to connect, speculate and study. Only things from the heart deliver.


DMW Gallery           Antwerp
soloshow No Road to Hotel Bellevue
October 15, 2020 - January 9, 2021 

VITRINE Gallery             Basel
Curator: William Noel Clarke

Vogesenplatz, 4056 Basel
Switzerland
28 February - 17 july 2020

KUNST HAUS WIEN             Vienna
part of FOTO WIEN / Museum Hundertwasser

Untere Weißgerberstraße 13, 1030 Wien
Austria
11 - 27 march 2022

Ballroom Gallery             Brussels, Belgium
soloshow The Bones
January 29, 2022 - March 9, 2022


Broadcast interview with ORF
Coversation with Subbacultcha
Conversation with Els Roelandt in HART 217
Conversation with Nicky Aerts, KLARA Pompidou
Podcast matter about bordertrees on Radio Level Five



The fossil gas and the parrots, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood
 

Unattended Funerals, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood


The death, the wolf and the bird, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood



Arch for Roadblocks and Lockdowns, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood



Hotel Bellevue (Herbarium), 2020, variable sizes, UV-print on blueback

Dear god and the red cat, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood

Dear god and the red cat, 2020, 54x74x13cm, Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, laser-cut frame in afzeliawood

DMW Gallery           Antwerp
soloshow No Road to Hotel Bellevue
October 15, 2020 - January 9, 2021

No Road to Hotel Bellevue is a total installation fabulating a natural world in which all artworks are interwoven as organisms unable to untangle. This coming together originates in the in-between space, the speculative space.

Trees have been evolving for 370 million years. Improving themselves, getting smarter. Yet these botanical academics stand matchless against the two-legged flag wavers. Every year we cut down minimum 15 billion trees. Half of the rainforest is already gone. Half of the earth's fertile land has become farmland. That land is divided into rectangular planes next to each other, becoming a pixelated field.




VITRINE Gallery             Basel
Curator: William Noel Clarke

Vogesenplatz, 4056 Basel
Switzerland
28 February - 17 july 2020

‘Our companion, our other’ is a two-person exhibition of Dries Segers and Suzanna Zak, whose practices use different photographic processes to explore animals, organisms and environments in relation to humans interaction with them.

Each artists uses unique narratives to weave together stories of human and non-human companionship. Through their thoughtful and sensitive use of subjects and material, Zak and Segers empathetically explore what it means to be together in cohabitation with others, trying to understand our shared relationships with the species we hold close.



This exibition includes works as FUNGI, Handsculptures, Dear God and the Red Cat, Fossil gas and the Parrots & The Death, the Wolf & the Bird.





HOTEL BELLEVUE
KUNST HAUS WIEN
            Vienna
part of FOTO WIEN / Museum Hundertwasser

Untere Weißgerberstraße 13, 1030 Wien
Austria
11 - 27 march 2022


In this coming together, the focus was laid on 5 bordertrees, a nailtree, seeds, an polychonic beech and 2 insects. They were surrounded by an ecosystem of dead worms, fungi, various matter, vivid wood, hypersymbols and a portal.


It takes a lot of voices to create a song of us   


Ask the giants, 2022, 61.5 × 41 × 4.4 cm, Blue silkscreen print, custom wooden frame with symbols 

This border tree was an important landmark in the middle of a forest in the Belgian town of Genk where three roads crossed. The Corsican pine is a border tree and a whisper tree combined. Children would turn to the whisper tree to share and entrust secrets, grief, fears, thoughts, stories, and so on.

They have a cherry pie that might kill you, 2022, 61.5 × 41 × 4.4 cm, Blue silkscreen print, custom wooden frame with symbols

This cherry tree used to be the border between the properties of two rivalling family farms. In June 1958, after decennia of competition, the women and children of the families were tired of the friction and decided to resolve the fight. They went to pick cherries and brought them home to bake pies. In the evening, the families gathered around the tree and ate each other’s pastries. Today the tree still flourishes but doesn’t mark the border between properties. Over the years, properties merged and the tree now stands in the middle of a field. It lost its symbol as a border tree.


There are a lot of things, 2022, 61.5 × 41 × 4.4 cm, Blue silkscreen print, custom wooden frame with symbols

This border tree was visible from afar and was used as a point of orientation to reach the castle of the count of the Condroz region in Belgium. It was used mainly by visitors coming from France. The mayor of Profondeville (Belgium) was in conflict with the count and decided to hide this tree by planting an enormous forest around it. Over the years, the Tilia tree became more and more hidden, until it could no longer be used as a point of reference. Travellers were confronted with a widely spreadout forest. Vehicles and horses were unable to pass, and many travellers got lost.

Pollinators, 2022, UV print on dibond, metal frame, 38 × 26 cm


Battery, 2022, Silver silkscreen on ultra black paper, custom made oak frame with symbols, 38.5 × 25 cm


Someone loves you (Stambruges), 2022, 41x61cm, Silver silkscreen print on ultra black paper, 38 mm multiplex, custom frame


It takes a lot of voices to create a song of us, 2022, UV print on dibond, metal frame, 29 × 20 cm



Someone loves you (Herchies), 2022, 41x61cm, Silver silkscreen print on ultra black paper, 38 mm multiplex, custom frame

Nail trees were common throughout south-eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. By hammering a piece of textile or a nail into the tree, it will absorb all the pain and heal the person who was touched by the fabric. The Catholic church tried to lay claim to these pagan beliefs, which explains why you find little saints or chapels next to such pilgrimage locations. I found 2 of these active nailtrees in Belgian forest. They are filled with devoted cloths. This form of tree worship makes sense when you look at the tree as the connection between Earth and the gods, facilitated by the roots, stem and the crown of the tree.


Ballroom Gallery             Brussels, Belgium
soloshow The Bones, 2022

This show was devoted to 3 border trees which once stood on a border, but through time the border was moved and the tree became just a tree. The symbol was lost, but the stories where still told.

Ask your hands to know the things they hold ︎